Being one who enjoys the zombie genre, I just can’t hold back from watching a new zombie film when it releases. Now to clarify, I’m not talking about any new zombie film, as any zombie fan would know, the bad certainly outweighs the good and I really don’t need to torture myself. I am talking about new zombie films with a hint of promise to at least be decent. In this case, we have Day of the Dead: Bloodline. The film is a remake of the George Romero’s Day of the Dead, the third entry in his zombie line of films, and after watching the trailer, I was really hoping that this remake could do Romero’s film justice. Zack Snyder did a fine job with George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead remake so perhaps Day of the Dead was finally getting its due. Well, it won’t be with this one.
The movie starts in the midst of the outbreak where running zombies attack anything that moves. Blood sprays in the air like a geyser as the undead attack the living. Then, the film flashes back four hours earlier to where our protagonist, Zoe (Sophie Skelton) works as a medical student. We are then introduced to Max (Jonathan Schaech) who is utterly obsessed by Zoe, so much so that he carves her name into his arm. Eventually, Zoe finds herself alone in a medical morgue where Max begins to sexually assault her, but she is saved by a rising corpse. We then jump ahead five years to where Zoe is a doctor at a military compound. (Unfortunately, we never see how Zoe escapes the outbreak). She eventually requests to go back to her medical morgue to retrieve more medicines. This leads to her running into a zombified Max who plays stunt zombie on their military truck to sneak into the base and sniff Zoe out. Max is eventually caught as Zoe realizes he has not fully turned and he could contain what she needs to create a vaccine.
I will begin with the cons of the film, as there appears to be more of this than the positives. Unfortunately, this is another story with people making bad or odd decisions, such as walking off alone and not saying a word to the group or running through the middle of a group of storming zombies as an escape route. Also, the characters must have been hard of hearing as some of Max’s attacks and grunts at the military compound are quite loud, but yet for some reason, not one person in the military could hear the attack happening. In addition, the acting was a bit stiff, and though this improved slightly over the course of the film, the stiff acting was combined with some very dull characters resulting in a very unenjoyable experience. In regards to the story, as bad as a lot of the acting was, I actually enjoyed that outbreak setting in the beginning of the film and would have preferred to stay there and focus on a character surviving the chaos versus attempting to do a remake of Day of the Dead.
For the good, the makeup and effects were actually well done. I was a bit mesmerized with the makeup on the main zombie, Max, in how detailed it was. In addition, the exploding fountains of blood that happened from time to time were quite exaggerated but did provide some entertainment throughout the dullness.
Unfortunately Day of the Dead: Bloodline turned out to be a dull film with boring characters, and only has the makeup and effects to save it. Sadly, it was not enough. Sorry zombie fans, we are going to have to wait a bit longer for that next great zombie film to come.